5th birthday in heaven

Today you would be five years old, my sweet girl. It’s still hard to believe it’s already been over two years now that I celebrated your birthday with you physically here. Now I am left with no choice but to continue celebrating your birthday every year by releasing balloons for you, so you can catch them in heaven. Today is all about you, my gorgeous baby, it’s all for you.

Three weeks ago on June 4th was your 2 year anniversary that I lost you. I have not shared with very many people what happened on that day, but as expected, it was a rough one to say the least (much like today without you here).

I remember crying so hard at the thought of missing you, the flashbacks from the hospital, the words the doctors and nurses spoke to us, the feeling of my heart breaking like glass that you are still gone, the hole in my heart expanding as I ache just to hold you one last time, knowing it is so far away from happening. I know I will see you again one day, but it seems like forever, and forever seems like a million miles away. I did something that day that I had been meaning to do for the longest time. “Go get your baby,” as my dad has said to me. What he meant was to go get your ashes. Your ashes.

On the way there, I began to tear up, as much as I tried to fight those hot tears from rolling down my cheeks, I couldn’t hold them in. As my eyes are filling up, my face begins to feel hot and at the same time, the back of my neck gets hot too. Something told me to turn my radio down, and in that very moment, I began to listen. I heard your sweet voice telling me, “I’m here Mommy, I’m here,” because you knew exactly what I was about to do.

I was able to calm down after that, enough to just make it there. Your Grandma Renee gave me a hug and handed me over the bag from the Funeral home that contained your ashes inside. As I’m pulling down the driveway to leave, I begin to see fireflies light up the night. That was the first day of the summer that I had seen a single firefly. They have been a symbol/sign from you since the day of your Celebration of Life, and we lit off lanterns in the sky for you.

I remember Aileah letting off her lantern for you, and all of a sudden, a firefly landed on her hand. I would see fireflies in places that they normally wouldn’t be. I remember driving the golf cart and seeing a firefly going up and down the floorboard (it must have been really bored because that’s all it seemed to want to do). I would see them in the house, on the door going back and forth, over and over again. When my best friend Janice took Aileah to Kentucky Kingdom, she called me and said, “Guess what was in our hotel room?” I’m pretty sure she called it a lightning bug, (I’ve always called them fireflies). At the softball fundraiser, I remember my dad sitting in his chair, and a firefly landed on him and went back and forth on his shorts for quite a while. I looked at my dad’s face as a tear rolled down his cheek. During July 4th, Aileah and her friend Maddie called the fireflies “Kenley bugs.” That was the cutest thing I have ever heard. It wasn’t until recently that Maddie overheard her big sister, Dana and I talking on the phone and she told us all about her and Aileah calling them that. I thought it was soo sweet and it made my night when I heard it. Whenever I see fireflies lighting up the sky, I always think of you.

I have always believed there is more to life than what meets the eye, that there is other life out there somewhere, and life after death. I don’t believe people are just here on earth and they die & that’s it. I believe there is a heaven and a hell, that this isn’t all that there is once we pass. Believing that Kenley is in heaven, that she is fully alive and in paradise, brings me a sense of security knowing that she is safe.

When I first lost her, I questioned my faith. I questioned God multiple times and asked him why he took my child from me. I’ve been mad at God and asked him plenty of times to just take me, because I didn’t know how to live without Kenley. Since then, I have rewired my brain and changed my thoughts, and I stopped questioning him and all of his doings. My faith in the Lord has become stronger than it ever was that I thought was humanly possible. Every single sign that I have from Kenley, let’s me know that it is God’s gift to me and that she is up in heaven with him, along with my Mamaw Elouise, Mamaw Hallie, & Papaw Larry. I remember sitting outside after losing Kenley, and I closed my eyes & saw the three of them all holding hands in a circle with Kenley Boo dancing in the middle. The song was, “I hope you dance,” by Leann Womack.

I remember at Kenley’s Celebration of Life, when that song came on, I lost it.

It made it almost impossible to believe that she was gone, because never have I ever been to any kind of funeral service and the body not be present in a casket. I actually believed that she was coming back to me, I believed it for months on end. It just didn’t make sense, it still doesn’t.

I know now that she isn’t coming back, no one is going to knock on the door, saying Kenley came back from vacation. No one is going to do that and that’s what I believed in my head. She hasn’t came back to me in her physical body, but she has made it known that she has never left my side and she will always be here with me.

I remember just recently, the day of her anniversary, how I was completely losing my shit. I didn’t think I could handle another day without her. I broke down so badly that day. I remember asking her for strength to help me get through the day and the rest of my life, I needed her to help me. After that, I felt a sense of comfort wash over me and I was able to calm down, I haven’t broke down that hard since. She listened to me. I know she can hear my thoughts and listen to my voice when I am speaking. She can see things before and after they happen and while they are happening. I know she knows everything about the past, present, and future that have/are going to happen.

I know she is genuinely living her best life in a place that I can only imagine. I can only imagine how beautiful it is to live in a place like heaven. How magical it is without any sign of evil up there, only love and never hate. I can only imagine what it will be like on the day that I am reunited with my precious beauty. I live for that day, even though there are days where I just want to make it all easier and see my own way out, but I know that is not the answer. I can’t play God and pick & choose “my time,” because only he knows.

On Kenley’s anniversary that just passed, I remember setting her bag that contained her ashes on my lap and just holding it all the way home. I didn’t shed one single tear driving back. When I arrived at home, I headed straight to my bedroom. I remember opening up the bag and seeing her death certificate first thing. I folded it back up and placed it at the bottom of the bag and reached for the box. Inside the box was a tin, inside of the tin were her ashes. When I opened up the tin and saw her ashes, I lost it. Aileah looked up and me and said, “Mom are you okay?” She gave me the biggest hug and held me so tight, because she knew for sure that is exactly what I needed in that very moment.

Now that I have Kenley’s ashes here, I can feel her presence even stronger than I did before. I had to wait until I was fully ready to face the reality of her now being ashes instead of a physical body. Whenever I would search urns online, I would have to stop, I could never finish and follow through. I don’t know if it was due to the fact that I didn’t believe she was actually gone, or the fact that my sweet baby girl shouldn’t be just ashes!!

I think NOW, I will be able to make it through. There are glass blown urns I’ve seen that you can have custom made and have a loved ones ashes mixed in. That’s what I wanted to get, but even thinking about calling Renee and asking for my baby’s ashes was one of the hardest things I had to force myself to do. I actually ended up texting her about it instead. I don’t know how I would’ve been able to vocally ask her a question like that. How would those words even slide off of my lips? How? “Can I have my baby’s ashes?” How does that even sound? There are no words for it.

I don’t want today to be a sad day. I want to try my best to make it through the day without shedding a tear. I want today to be all about Kenley Boo. I want people to remember how beautiful and full of life she was, her contagious laugh and the glow she always had upon her. I want tears of joy and love and laughter. I want to share stories of my silly girl and the things she would do and say. I want to remember the happy times and the beautiful little life she once had here. I want to talk about how big her voice is for her tiny body and how much of an impact she’s made in the world with her story of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. I want to talk about how many families and friends and people I have never had a chance to meet have reached out to me from all over the country and across the world. Let’s talk about how many lives she’s saved and how many people have personally messaged me, asking for advice when it comes to ticks and tickbites and what to do thereafter. Let’s talk about the legacy my angel is leaving behind her forever!!! For such a tiny baby, she’s shouting loudly and clearly through the nations overseas and echoing to and fro.

If there is one thing that I have done correctly in my life. ONE THING. I know that that ONE THING is being her Mommy. I may have failed tests in school, I may have had speeding tickets in the past, I may have made mistakes that I wish I could take back, I may not be perfect, but I do know one thing for damn sure, I never failed my Kenley Boo as her mama. Never. I loved her then, I love her now, and I always will. I will forever share her story with the world, until the earth stops spinning, I will keep talking and spreading awareness. That is my pinky promise to the world. It has to be a pinky promise or it doesn’t count. 😉

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY IN HEAVEN TO YOU, MY SWEET ANGEL BABY. I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW! YOU ARE EVERYTHING TO ME AND SO MUCH MORE. I AM SO PROUND TO BE YOUR MOMMY, IT IS THE GREATEST GIFT I HAVE EVER RECEIVED (ASIDE FROM YOUR BIG SISTER OF COURSE). ALL THAT I AM AND ALL THAT I HAVE YET TO BE IS ALL BECAUSE OF YOU. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH KENLEY BOO! HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY IN HEAVEN, MY SWEET, SWEET ANGEL! UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN!!!

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Today’s Show Article

As much as I don’t like seeing pictures of my Kenley Boo in the hospital, how swollen her whole body was.. her sweet face, her eyelids, her hands, her arms, like she’d been pumped up with air. This picture right here looks nothing like the Kenley Boo that I remember. The vibrant personality of this baby girl, THAT is what I want to remember about her, not this picture right here. No parent should ever have to see their child(ren) like this, EVER! As a parent, you’re not supposed to outlive your children. THE AMOUNT OF SUPPORT FROM EVERYONE IS SO AMAZING! You’ve made this rough week that felt like I was falling down a slippery slope feel like I can now climb mountains. Thank you so much! I love you all so much for reaching out to me during this difficult time. I appreciate you! The amount of shares I’ve seen from a story the Today Show aired, is mind blowing!!! Thank you everyone for tagging in posts that you see of my story being shared. Although it’s been 2 years, what happened to my baby girl is STILL happening. I never thought something like this could ever happen to my daughter, I’d never even heard of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Doctors have very little knowledge on this disease and I will fight for doctors to go back to college and have their degrees reestablished once they complete their courses on tick-borne diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. This has to stop!!! People have to stop being misdiagnosed, they have to stop dying over something that can be prevented from happening with the help of everyone signing my petition for the CDC to formulate a RMSF vaccine, people have to stop dying from this!! Kayla Ann Oblisk and Brandon Oblisk from Kentucky almost lost their 2 year old son, Jackson- literally almost a 2 years to the date that Kenley initially got sick Memorial Day weekend 2 years ago!!! He too was misdiagnosed and told it was just a virus, he became lethargic like Kenley, he couldn’t walk or talk, he became swollen with spots all over his body like Kenley. Everything Kayla told me about her son Jackson and the effects RMSF has taken on his tiny body, nearly mirrored my Kenley Boo’s story!!!! It’s so heartbreakingly sad that this is continuing, that we put our trust in these doctors, when they have minimal education when it comes to RMSF and other tick diseases. I’m sorry, but isn’t that terrifying???? We need to stop allowing these doctors to spin a wheel and take a wild guess on a diagnosis of someone who has RMSF symptoms. It’s not right. Pumping them with the wrong antibiotics can be life threatening, but it happens more often than not. Although they say RMSF is uncommon and rare, I keep hearing more and more and more about it. If you or someone you know has or has had RMSF, please share your story with me! I would love to hear from you!!! I will support everyone who can relate in some way, the way you all have been supporting and reaching out to me. We’re in this together!!!! 🤞🏼💛

Thank you 💛

People have been reaching out to me non-stop with their condolences and kind words. Thank each of you for taking the time out of your day to read my posts. I don’t always like posting sad things all the time, but one thing I will always do is talk about my daughter and share her story, in hopes of bringing more awareness to those who are in the dark about the seriousness of what took my daughter’s life. It needs to be known. When you get inside of a vehicle, you are well aware of the chances of there possibly being an accident, something happening with your car, etc. You wouldn’t think you’d be in danger just by stepping outside of your home. People don’t think about things like that. You can bring in a tick from your own yard and not even realize it. People often assume that they’re only in woods and camping areas, let me tell you, there’s plenty of other places besides that. Grass, trees, bushes, plants, your pets… All I’m trying to say is know how to protect yourself if you are to go camping, long sleeve pants and shirts, bright clothing so they are easier to spot, throw your clothes in the dryer when you get home to kill them off, wear DEET which is supposed to repel against ticks. I was just living my everyday life when all of a sudden my baby girl became very ill and contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from a tick bite and my world changed & continues to change without her. I know 100000% she is with me everyday, watching over me, I can feel her, and sometimes I can even hear her talking to me. What happened to my sweet girl is beyond tragic and shouldn’t happen to anyone else’s child, EVER, especially if it can be prevented. It’s not like RMSF is incurable, it most certainly is if it is properly diagnosed and given the needed antibiotic (doxycycline) in time. I would never want anyone to be in mine or my beautiful Kenley Boo’s shoes. Again thank you everyone for your kind words, even the smallest message means so much to me, you have no idea. Thank you for sharing my posts on Facebook and other platforms of social media, thank you for telling your friends and people you may know about my baby’s story, thank you for taking the time to read my lengthy posts and my blog- I know I can get pretty deep and sometimes it’s not the easiest thing to read. I pinky promise, it’s not my intention to make everyone cry!! I just start typing whatever comes to mind in that moment and whatever is in my heart, just hits the keypad on my phone. It’s so therapeutic, and allows me to release and escape, if only for a moment. The amount of love I have in my heart is beyond measurable and it’s far too big to keep everything all bottled up inside, so I pour it all out in my words. 💛

2 year angelversary

Today’s gonna be a rough one. Two years. How has it been that long already? Two years since you left this world that I continue living in, held you in my arms, kissed your sweet face, heard your little voice (now I can only hear it when I watch our videos we used to take), two years since I laid in your hospital bed right next to you- hoping it was all just a bad dream. The reality of life without you hasn’t become any easier. As each day that passes by, it brings me further and further away from when you were physically here on earth. I once protected you all of your life while you were here, now I have you protecting me from above. I miss you everyday, Kenley Boo. There hasn’t been a day I haven’t thought about you since I lost you on that hot summer day, June 4th 2017. I can remember having an out of body experience on your final days, like I was floating on a different planet. The precious memories I had with you are something I will forever cherish; your baby cuddles, your beautiful blonde-white hair and dark eyes, the way you would hold your hand to your chin and give that shy little snicker, the way you were always close to me no matter what I was doing- you wanted to be by my side and follow me everywhere I went like my little duckling, how you would want to watch Frozen over and over again & would sing “Leeggggo” (Let it go) in your little baby voice with your hands in the air as you’d sing each word, how you would go into Sephora with me and want to paint your face with makeup, how everything you said had an “Uhh” in front of it “Uhhh ink” (drink) “Uhh hottty” (potty) “Uhh he you” (I love you). I miss everything about you and I will never forget you. I carried you in my belly for nine months and I will carry you in my heart until the end of time. I love you always and I’ll forever be missing you. I love you- my sweet, sweet Kenley Boo.

Since I lost you, plenty of people have told me, “I wouldn’t know what to do if I lost my child(ren),” as they shouldn’t. No one should know what that heart-wrenching pain feels like or the agony of yearning for your child so badly, to know that you won’t see them again until it is your “time.” It’s like spinning on a wheel with no way out of it, no matter how hard you try, there is no way to reach your destination and the same time, I can’t escape the new reality of life after you. I can’t escape my thoughts of you as well, you are always on my mind. There have been many days and nights, months and weeks, now years that I just wanted this nightmare to be over and I always will.

I know that you will be with me forever, baby girl, each sign from you has spoke volumes to my heart. The other day was a prime example after having dinner with my dad, your papaw.. We talked in the parking lot about you and we both could not stop crying. I told him that I regret not being in the room with you on your final moments, my voice wasn’t the last one that you heard (as it should have been), my touch wasn’t the last one you felt (as it should have been). I feel like I failed you in that aspect, but watching and hearing you take your last breath is something I don’t know if I would have been able to handle witnessing, having flashbacks of that would be so much to take, but many parents have witnessed it firsthand. Maybe that’s why I was in such denial that you were actually gone. For months on end that first year after you, I believed you were coming back to me where you belong. Papaw told me that on your final moments how the doctors had him and your Uncle Cameron exit the room so they could remove you from the ventilator. He told me how he heard you take your last breath, move your arm up and slowly back down, and you just relaxed. Right as he was explaining that to me, he told me you were with us as we were talking. We both looked up and I said, “Cardinal!!” He said to me, “See? She knows!” A cardinal flew right by where we were standing, so bright and vivid red against the green grass. When I asked him to go to dinner earlier that day, I was bawling my eyes out typing outside on the porch and a cardinal flew by. They say cardinals are visitors from heaven, and whenever I see one, I know it is you. It lets me know that you will always be by my side, just like you were when you were living here on earth.

This past week (Memorial Day weekend), to be exact is forever stamped in my mind, as that is when you first became ill. I have felt weak to my stomach since then. I can barely eat, food makes me nauseous, and I know it’s because of the flashbacks of this time 2 years ago. It was the absolute worst experience I have ever had in my entire life. Nothing could compare to losing a child. Nothing. People have told me “Maybe you’ll get over it.” Impossible. There is no way I could ever get over the thought of losing you, not in a million years. It is just something I will never be able to overcome, as I would never expect to.

Continuing life without you is not easy by any means, you should be here Kenley Renè. With all of the evil people in the world, why did it have to be you that had to go? WHY? I feel so robbed of the time that I will never be able to spend with you. You should be turning five years old exactly three weeks today. You should be going with me to the store and picking out school supplies for you to be entering kindergarten this year. You should be picking out your first backpack for school. I should be an emotional wreck on your first day of school, realizing how big you would be getting on your first day of kindergarten. You should be running everyday and playing at the park with your big sister. The two of you should be playing with Lol Dolls together and arguing about who gets to play with what. You would have loved those dolls, Kenley girl. I can picture the two of you playing with the dolls together and how you both would be. I can picture your face light up like Aileah’s does when she opens up her Lol Surprise Dolls.

I often find myself daydreaming about you, what you would look like now, the things you would be saying, doing, thinking, feeling. I always wonder what might’ve and should’ve been, if only you stayed here a little longer.

I love you with every single fiber of my being. Save a spot up there for me, I’ll be back to you one day, I promise. Until then, I will keep your memory alive by sharing your story, forever and always. I LOVE YOU SWEET BABY! Two years without you feels like a lifetime! I’ll be missing you, my beautiful angel.

Mommy loves you, Kenley Boo 💛 Until we meet again.👼🏼

Hits home

This article about a family in the state of Kentucky hits home. 💔💔💔 Their 2 year old son was bit by a tick and they removed it and didn’t think too much about it. The boy developed a fever and light pink spots all over his body where they were told it was just a virus and it’ll go away. On the seventh day of his sickness, he was given the proper treatment. He was diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and started to recover, after not being able to do anything and unable to wake up. Fortunately for this family, he woke up on his second birthday and the mother believes her son will recover.

As my sweet baby girl, Kenley’s two year death anniversary is approaching in 3 days, it is unbelievably heartbreaking to me that this family could have lost their baby as well for the exact same reason Kenley is no longer here today. Like the mother in this article, I was told “It’s just a virus,” along with misdiagnosis. Kenley had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from a tick bite as well. Although there were some definite similarities in symptoms between the little boy mentioned and my Kenley, (high fever, spotted rash) a tick was never found/removed on Kenley like there was with the little boy. This family found one on him and he was still misdiagnosed, even after all of the symptoms he had. As rare as doctors say Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is, I’m learning more and more that is just not the case.

My precious baby girl was misdiagnosed as well and after taking her to three different emergency rooms in a matter of 10 days, my daughter’s outcome was different. I lost her 3 weeks before her 3rd birthday.

It saddens me to the core that the family mentioned in this article could have experienced losing their baby as well. You would never think a tick, something so tiny could have such life altering effects, but they sure do. Some of them are so little, you can barely even see them.

If you are a parent, I’m asking you to please be aware of these nasty little things, as the outcome can be fatal. Check your child(ren) for ticks after playing outside. I still have people reaching out to me to this day asking me for advice when they find a tick on themselves, their child, or even their pets.

Here are some of the symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever:

⁃ High fever

⁃ Rash

⁃ Loss of appetite

⁃ Headache

⁃ Muscle aches

Ways to protect yourself from ticks:

⁃ Repel them with DEET

⁃ Wear bright clothes so they are easier to see

⁃ Tuck your pant legs into socks

⁃ Avoid tick infested areas

How to remove a tick and what to do if you find one:

⁃ Clean the area around the tick bite with rubbing alcohol

⁃ Try grabbing the tick as closely to the head as possible with tweezers

⁃ Pull up slow and firm with tweezers, making sure the head is removed

⁃ Clean the bite area again with rubbing alcohol and wash your hands with soap and water

Happy Birthday in Heaven

Happy 4th Birthday in heaven to my beautiful angel!

Four years old. Today you would have been 4 years old on earth, the thought of it leaves me speechless.

(First Birthday)

June 4th marked your 1 Year Angelversary, that day my whole world froze solid, the earth stopped rotating and time stood still. It hasn’t changed since.

Missing out on experiencing you blowing out your birthday candles as you make your birthday wish for all the years to come, taking you to the store to pick out your favorite decorations for the theme of your birthday party, watching you rip through the paper of all your birthday gifts and seeing your face light up, no longer being able to guide you through life as you reach each milestone, witnessing the sisterly bond being broken on earth but still receiving heavenly signs and connections that lead straight to you..

This first year without you has been an up and down spiraling roller coaster and an unimaginable wave of emotions. In the blink of an eye, everything can change and nothing will ever remain the same. I try to wear a smile on my face and shed a little bit of laughter with your sister. As contagious as your little laugh and sweet smile both were, I know that’s the way you would want us to be. You wouldn’t want us to be wiping away tears that are to be expected. I get so angry that you are gone, after wanting you so badly and to have you stripped out of our lives so quickly, a little over a year later and it is STILL processing. I know it always will.

If I don’t know anything, I do know that you’ve left your mark on the world and you continue to do so, which you always & forever will. The impact you’ve made on the universe, the lives you’ve touched and saved, the message you are sending through the nations, that is more powerful than I ever knew was fully possible. Your story of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever continues to be told, people are to this day reaching out and asking questions, asking for advice about ticks, symptoms and what to look out for. The impact you continue to make is heroic, for such a tiny human. You were an angel from the start and it’s proven to me everyday.

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Yesterday was a little getaway at the beach.. You should have been there with us, running through the sand with your big sister and building sandcastles.

(1 years old – the happiest beach baby at your first Florida trip to PCB)

As we were heading back from our 3+ hour trip after getting something to eat, the unthinkable happened. We went from singing songs in the car, laughing, your big sister Aileah and I snap chatting in the backseat to one hell of a roller coaster ride in the car. Everything happened so fast.. With Janice’s daughter behind the wheel, sliding off the side of the road (for whatever reason) into the gravel, jerking the steering wheel a couple times as an attempt to straightening the car out, going 50mph, she ended up flipping the car at least two times. As we were flipping, I don’t remember what I was thinking about. There was so much adrenaline running through our bodies, being slammed, flipped upside down and rolling.. Within seconds of us finally coming to a halt, there was a man at my window asking if we were okay. The car landed on the driver’s side, the side Aileah was on. I could see that she was still breathing, no blood or visible injuries appeared to be on her. The man at my window happened to be an off duty police officer who witness everything that happened. He was able to pull Aileah out of the vehicle and I climbed out of the back. Janice and her daughter were then pulled out. Minutes later, an ambulance pulled up, a fire truck, a couple sheriffs, and they blocked the road off in both directions. The emergency response was immaculate!

As the car was being towed, Aileah and I were escorted by a couple sheriffs, followed by Janice and her daughter in another sheriff’s vehicle to one of their local restaurants until we could be picked up and taken home. I was talking to my mother on the phone when we arrived and the moment I pointed to the window, showing Aileah the lightening bug that I saw (a sign from Kenley), my mom says “Kenley must have been looking over you guys.” There is no other explanation other than that being exactly it. For us to be able to walk away from that banged up car, after rolling, being slammed and flipped upside, through busted glass and everything, to walk away fully intact with some scrapes and scratches is mind blowing. All four of us are lucky to be alive, lucky that another vehicle wasn’t involved, lucky that a tree or building wasn’t struck. Lucky to have that off duty officer behind us and responding as quickly as he did. Yesterday was one of the scariest experiences I have ever been through. To see that sign from Kenley, the lightening bug on the window right where we were sitting, let’s me know she was with us. We all could have easily been called home yesterday, it’s definitely not our time just yet.

(The lightening bug on the window by where we were sitting. I went outside to take the picture.)

I’m thinking of you heavily baby girl, just like I do everyday. The aftermath of the wreck, your birthday, today is another day of trying to stop myself from drowning in tears.

I miss you so much, beautiful girl. I always, always, always will, until we meet again.

Happy Birthday in heaven, baby girl!!

My first Mother’s Day without you…

My first Mother’s Day without you…

Before I went to sleep last night, I heard the sound of an owl hooting so beautifully in the night. It was like receiving a pre-Mother’s Day gift from you.

I stepped outside first thing this morning and heard the birds all chirping. I thought to myself, “I hope I hear that owl again before I go back inside.” Sure enough, that owl started hooting beautifully, just like last night. I even heard another one, almost as if one was on one side and the other was at a distance, echoing each other in the wilderness.

I’ll never forget that beautiful summer day at the pool about a month after I lost you. Your sister, daddy, & cousin Bridget, and I were all swimming. Right before we left, we heard an owl hooting. We were at the same place we went to after your Celebration of Life, Dixie’s, where we lit off lanterns in the sky with the words written “In memory of…” and we were all able to write our own personal messages to you on them. That night, there was a beautiful white owl sitting in a tree, just watching over everyone, hooting.

Back to the day at the pool, as we were leaving, we heard an owl hooting. We hooted back and it followed, hooting again. We did it until we were all the way down the road and couldn’t hear it again.

Whenever I hear an owl, it is a reminder of you. Another reminder that you are watching over me. I’m so glad your big sister, Aileah was able to hear what I heard last night as she says, “Mom, an owl!”

We always know it’s you, baby girl. We love and miss you sweet girl, each and everyday. I will try my best to make it through the day without any tears. Nothing will ever be the same since the day you left, how I wish you were here to give me those sweet baby cuddles and those sweet kisses. I love you always and forever, my heavenly angel, my little princess.

International Bereaved Mother’s Day

As I’m scrolling through my Instagram feed after posting my news interview I did with one of my local stations, WTHR-TV Channel 13, I noticed a similar pattern. I follow handfuls of angel mommy’s and as I continue scrolling through my feed, they’re all posting about “International Bereaved Mother’s Day.” I have never heard of such a thing, never knew that existed, for everyday I wake up is Bereaved Mother’s Day for me.

Although my sweet Kenley is up in heaven, she is very much alive here on earth, she makes that very well known. I will always mother my beautiful baby girl by being her voice of reason. By sharing her story with the world and continuing saving lives while honoring her precious memory at the same time.

I will honor my gorgeous girl until the day I die. I was lucky enough to be the chosen one from the greatest man, a gift from God, that I am forever thankful for.

I will shout her name from the mountains, to the canyons across the coast, through every valley and every stream, from sea to sea. I hope her story reaches every country in the world and continues to make a difference in the lives of others.

To my angel family, I want to thank you for the support, it is a family that no one wants to be in, no one should ever be in. The connection of the pain, the look in a bereaved mother’s eyes lets you know you are not alone when you make that eye contact or you read a post or reply from them. It is a pain that is unimaginable for anyone to even begin to think they can survive after a significant loss such as that.

To the people of my Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Community that I have gained, you mean the world to me. Although I may not speak to each of you all the time, or as often as I’d like to, know that you are never far from my mind. We are in this together. #fightthebite 💪🏼💚

I love you all so very much, my angel family, my RMSF/Lyme Family, along with the friends I’ve gained along the way, the ones who’ve turned their backs on me, you’re only making me stronger, the ones who continue to support and follow me, the ones that share my posts and blog, it means the world to me. I love you!

Heaven sent

A couple days ago, I shared a picture and screenshot texts from my best friend, Janice on both my Facebook and Instagram pages. Here is some of our conversation:

I wasn’t expecting the little girl to look identical to the back of Kenley Boo. Tears filled up my eyes immediately after she sent me the picture of the little girl, assuming she was holding her mommy’s hand. The little girl’s blonde-white hair mirrored Kenley’s. The thinness of the little baby hairs and how it curled so beautifully at the ends, even the length. Just like Kenley’s. The fairness of her skin, even her height, Kenley would have been that exact same height as the little girl in the picture:

I was so mesmerized by the little girl’s hair in the picture, I just couldn’t stop looking at that picture all day long. Her hair just stood out to me the most. What I didn’t notice until later that evening was something I surely know was heaven sent!!!

I continued to look at the picture and this time I noticed something that blew my mind. I noticed the bottom of her hot pink dress wasn’t sown together, the tulle at the bottom was poofy, like a little ballerina dress. I then noticed the straps and how they came in close together in the center of her back, instead of regular spaghetti straps. I set my phone down and grabbed the picture I had of Kenley and Aileah at The State Fair two years ago. I wanted a picture of the both of them, standing in front of the beautiful display of sunflowers with pops of vibrant purple flowers mixed in.

My sweet baby Kenley decided to turn around and instead of forgetting about the picture, I snapped her cute little butt anyways. I’m so glad I did, because it has always been one of my favorite pictures I have taken of the girls.

I mentioned “The Kenley Dress” in one of my previous blog posts, this is the dress that I’m talking about, the one Kenley is wearing in the picture. It is the same one that the lovely Christina used in the beautiful mural of Kenley that she freelance painted.

The significance of this dress, as sentimental as it is already, let’s me know that Kenley is speaking to me in many ways. The little girl in the hot pink dress from a couple days ago that Janice sent me the picture of is wearing the EXACT SAME DRESS that Kenley had on in that picture. The only difference in the dresses is the color.

I knew there had to be a reason why Kenley had turned her little back towards me that day, there had to be a reason why I snapped a photo of her while she was like that, there had to be a reason why Janice took a picture of the back of the little girl wearing the hot pink dress. Janice didn’t think anything of it, it never would have crossed her mind, especially since I hadn’t even noticed the similarity in the dresses until the day was almost over!

The connection between the two dresses, the strong resemblance of Kenley Boo and that little girl…

THAT IS HEAVEN SENT!!

Nothing in life is EVER coincidental, never. I bought Kenley’s “Kenley dress” back in August 2016, close to the time we went to The State Fair. For that little girl in that picture to be wearing the EXACT SAME DRESS (just different colors) is no coincidence, that is slim to none, the chances of that happening.

There are too many connections for it not to be from heaven. I’ve always believed in God, always. Since losing Kenley, however, the connection I feel between heaven and earth is more powerful than it ever has been. Such an incredible feeling, I truly feel so very honored and gifted to feel that heavenly connection between God, my angel baby, and my great grandmother, Elouise. It is truly fascinating!

When my sweet Kenley was here on earth, I felt so safe. Although I am her mommy, it was a different connection that I have ever felt with anyone in my life. I felt protected, so whole and complete. Now that she is in heaven, watching over me like the precious angel she has always been, I feel the blanket of comfort and protection that she places all around me.

I know that if I had seen that little girl that Janice took a picture of and how much she resembled Kenley, I know I would have went up to the lady holding her hand (assuming it is her mother) and asked her if I could hug the little girl. I would share with her about my sweet Kenley, and hopefully she would have told me “Yes!”

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Yesterday I received a phone call from Emily Longnecker from WTHR Channel 13 News, one of my local news stations. She explained to me there was a press conference about the state wide alert in Indiana about ticks being on the rise this year, even more so than the previous years. My heart was pounding in my chest as I agreed to let her interview me. Almost one year ago (June 4th) right after we lost Kenley, I remember doing those interviews all too well. I remember how I could barely speak as I’m being asked questions, so close to losing her, how hard it was to form a sentence and making it all make sense. With yesterday marking Kenley’s 11 month angel date, I absolutely could not turn down Emily’s request, there was just no way I could have said no. I had to do it for my sweet girl, to honor her memory, to raise more awareness about Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, the killer that took her sweet life away. I had to, because no parent deserves to join the club no mother or father wants to be in. It’s heartbreaking to know that there are so many people who are so unaware, still being misdiagnosed, and left untreated and for dead. It’s not fair, it’s not right, it’s beyond wrong and senseless is what it is.

I truly hope from the bottom of my heart that my message gets across the world, just like it did last year during those interviews, despite how tough it is for me to speak on. It’s definitely not easy. Making a difference in anyone and everyone’s life that I can is my ultimate goal.

In remembrance of my sweet, sweet angel baby, I will always keep sharing her story. I am honored that I am her Mommy and I will continue honoring her heavenly memory.

I miss you so incredibly much, my beautiful baby girl. I am so very proud of all of your work you continue to do up in heaven. Such a busy, busy baby girl. Mommy can hear you honey, with every message and every sign, I hear you loud and clear. I am so blessed that you’re my daughter, my perfect little angel. I love you so much, princess! I can’t wait to hold you in my arms again!!

Always & forever, for a lifetime I will love you in heaven and on earth

– Love Mommy

11 little months

I started my day off with tears in my eyes, as I remembered some of the things I missed about Kenley, from her blonde-white hair to her ten tiny toes, I miss everything about her. The way she would curl her little mouth in her cute little smile as I would put her hair up into a ponytail and she’d look at herself in the mirror, the way she would scrunch her little button nose and make noises, how she would spin around in her dresses and want to stay in her princess gowns all day long because she thought they were dresses, how she would make me play a certain part in her Barbie movie over and over again so she could dance, the way she would grab a wash rag out of my hand as I was cleaning and do it herself, how she would grab a broom out of my hands and begin to sweep while holding her balance, the way her little face looked after taking her to SEPHORA as she did her own little mini makeover, trying products on by herself, the way she would extend out her arms as she would sing “Leeee goooo” (Let it go) and press her Frozen doll, how she would say the sweet word “Mommy” or even sometimes “Mom,” those were the sweetest words, how she would say “Uhh he you” (I love you), the way she would open the fridge, thinking she was so big and try to grab the milk and point to her cup saying “Uhh ink, Uhh ink,” I miss her little baby voice so much!

As I’m thinking all of these things, I look up right at the clouds and they began to part, with the sun peaking through. Although she cannot physically speak to me, she speaks so me in daily messages. I find comfort in knowing that she is always near. I will continue to mother her while she keeps me safe as she is in heaven. For one day, I know we will be together again, in due time, Kenley Boo.